WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2014
oc•cur /əˈkɝ/USA pronunciation  v. [no object]-curred, -cur•ring.
  1. to happen;
    take place;
    come to pass:The accident occurred last night.
  2. [not: be + ~ -ing] to be met with or found; present itself;
    turn up;
    exist:Crime and disease occur in all countries of the world.
  3. [not: be + ~ -ing;
    usually: ~ + to + object]
    to come to mind:An idea just occurred to me.[+ to +  object + that clause]The thought occurred to me that we should save money.[It + ~ + to +  object + (that) clause]It never occurred to me (that) we would not have enough money.
  4. See -cur-.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

occur /əˈkɜː/ vb ( -curs, -curring, -curred)(intransitive)
  1. to happen; take place; come about
  2. to be found or be present; exist
  3. (followed by to) to be realized or thought of (by); suggest itself (to)
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin occurrere to run up to, from ob- to + currere to run
It is usually regarded as incorrect to talk of pre-arranged events occurring or happening: the wedding took place (not occurred or happened) in the afternoon

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